The following 7 steps will help you move your business from surviving to thriving. (I believe in these strategies so much that I am in the process of reworking my website and my marketing materials!)

Don't just survive, thrive!

Step 1 – Believe in yourself

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you are right.”
~Henry Ford

The point is, you can only achieve what you believe you can achieve. So, the first step in thriving in these challenging times is to BELIEVE that you can!

Here are 3 easy tips you can use to begin to change your focus right now.

1. Know what you do best, what will produce the greatest reward, the greatest quality and quantity of business, then do what you must to get more time to do it!

Knowing the best uses of your energy is much more important than trying harder or working longer. To get better results, you don't have to do anything essentially different from what you're already doing at the moment. You just have to do more of what you're already doing that works fantastically well – and STOP doing those things that don’t improve the quality and quantity of your business.

2. Get proactive. What work do you have outstanding-right now? What’s stopping you from completing it? Get organized, get focused and get busy! Contact that customer, write that outline, keep your eye on the big picture. Don’t get sidetracked and let your day take charge of you. You are the master of your thoughts. Are they serving you?

3. Every day for the next 30 days, begin your workday by writing down everything that you love about what you do. Include all positive aspects of your job. (It’s OK if you repeat things from day to day). Don’t write or think about anything that isn’t going the way you want it, write only about what’s working and what it will be like as it continues to work and grow for you.

Step 2 - Evaluate your business costs

Do your costs outnumber your profits? Are you breaking even, making a profit or is your business running behind? Do you know?

To break even, for every dollar you spend on marketing, advertising, business materials, and all other expenses, you should make back what you spend. To make a profit, you need to make more than you spend.

The first step in this process is to evaluate all of your current expenses, from your fixed expenses to your variable expenses. Fixed expenses are those expenses that do not change from month to month, they are constant; things such as rent, equipment leases, utilities, salaries, etc. Variable expenses fluctuate from month to month. They include things such as shipping charges, phone bills, advertising, office supplies, etc.

Once you know your costs, take a look at what you charge for your services or products. Is this number realistic? Does what you charge allow you to comfortably pay for your costs and make a profit? If the answer is yes, the next question is to determine how much you need to sell to be successful.

Here’s a simple 2-step formula to help you:

Service or product fee – cost of service or product = estimated profit

Estimated profit x number of services or products sold per month – monthly business expenses = Actual profit

This simple formula will help you determine whether or not the services you offer or the products you sell are priced correctly and if the amount of business you have allows you to achieve the level of success you desire.

Step 3 – Share the value your service or product provides

Clearly define the VALUE in your services or products. Assume nothing! No one knows the benefits more than you. Now is the time to make sure that all of your marketing efforts, materials, brochure, website, etc., clearly define the value. And remember, marketing is EVERY contact you or your company has with the public.

Next, add a little something special!
Incentivize your service or product to create excitement and demand! This can be as simple as offering a discount off your regular price, or offering a special bonus with every item or service sold. In this step you are seeking to add value to your existing products and services to entice future customers.

Step 4 – Reduce the amount of services or products you offer

Yes, you heard me correctly -- reduce the amount of services you offer. Now more than ever it’s important to focus on what you’re best at. To get the work you want, you have to have time. If you're busy doing the work you don't want or like, you won't have time for the work you do want. I know this is scary and I also know that it works. It’s better to be an expert in a few things instead of a Jack-of-all-trades. Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.

Step 5 – Expand your marketing efforts

This is not the time to cut back your marketing efforts; in fact, I encourage you to increase your efforts.

Review all of your marketing materials and rewrite them. Focus on the benefits you provide to your customers. They are far more interested in what you can do for them than they are in anything else you might tell them. (This is harder to do than you think it is, which is why it is so important.)

Step 6 - Become more visible

Research complimentary businesses in your area, contact them to see if they’ll allow you to leave your brochures at their place of business, so their customers can find out about you.

Provide FREE lectures at your local bookstore, holistic health provider, Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Association, Board of Realty, Local Realty companies, Community College, etc. During these lectures, have a sign up sheet so all attending can be added to your mailing list for future events.

Target advertising in areas your ideal client is most likely to be or read. (Targeted advertising is far more effective than trying to advertise everywhere.)

Call all of your past clients, touch base to see how they’re doing and ask if you can do anything to assist them.

Offer a special mini-version of your services and send a flyer to everyone you know.

Send out press releases to all newspapers in your marketing area. Let them know about your business, especially if you have a new product, service or new position.

Join Facebook, LinkedIn, My Space and any other appropriate networking site.

Regularly send your past clients and everyone on your mailing list an update. This can be a newsletter, an article, information you feel might be of interest to them, a special discount offer or just information about your services.

Join your local business networking organizations. Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Association, business lead groups, etc.

Join professional organzations in your field, The Interior Alignment Organization, The International Feng Shui Guild, etc.

Start a business-networking group with businesses that attract the same customer base.

If you have a website –

  • List your website in as many related directories as possible. Provide complimentary links when appropriate.
  • Submit your website to the major search engines every 3 months.
  • Incorporate keywords, page descriptions and page titles on every page of your website
  • Update your keywords every 6 months.
  • Incorporate your keywords into the text on your web pages.
  • Incorporate keyword links into your web pages as appropriate.
  • Simplify your web page layout, it should be easy to read and navigate. Use language your reader will understand -- you're writing for them, not for your peers.
  • Rewrite your web pages – remember – your customer wants to know what benefits you provide, in other words, what’s in it for them.

    Step 7 - Work together to co-create success and release FEAR

    Worried about competition? Find ways to work together. It’s much easier to move forward when you’re looking forward. If you’re worried about others, you’re busy looking behind you, and it’s impossible to see when you’re going when you aren’t watching.

    These strategic steps, though simple, are incredibly powerful. When you focus on the big picture and take steps to create it, providence moves with you. If you’re willing to make a commitment to yourself, your business and do the work, you’ll not only survive, you’ll thrive!

Author's Bio: 

Feng Shui Teacher and Entrepreneur Laurie Bornstein, "The Feng Shui Marketing Queen" is the author and creator of ‘Feng Shui Lifestyle’, her FREE monthly ezine filled with Feng Shui and Lifestyle Marketing articles and tips to help you live and work in balance. Visit to learn more.